Office of Education: Serving You
by Hamlet Canosa




January 2016




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The Office of Education is committed to periodically updating you on its work and service to the field and invites you to visit this blog regularly.

Archives 2009 Office of Education: Serving You

Goddard: Discipling Children for Christ - Kathy Goddard, former SDA teacher (worked at Highland View Academy as well) and author of the Bible instructional book, “God is the Victor,” shared with NADEA members how important it is for discipleship to be woven into all instructional strategies and levels so that educators can be more effective in strengthening each student in the spiritual journey through school and life. Kathy presented an overview of the Kids in Discipleship program which has been very successful where implemented. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 7, 2009)

Bock Shares Photos of Progress in Maluti - Dr. Kelly Bock, Director of Education for the Pacific Union Conference shared experiences and photos from Maluti, where he served as, for nine weeks, he served as construction project director in the building of the new school in Maluti, funded by students from across the NAD. Seven students from the Columbia Union assisted in the Maluti school construction, working on-site in early September 2009. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 5, 2009)

Brewer: Adventist Education is Essential - Sharing powerful quotes from Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy, Dr. Gene Brewer (Associate Director, Southern Union) provided the spoken word for the day. His emphasis - to encourage educators, pastors, and SDA members to better understand those forces affecting SDA education and what we, as educators, must do to strengthen SDA education at all levels. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 5, 2009)

Principal Kessler Introduces Morning Worship - Merv Kessler, principal of San Diego Academy, introduced both Mr. Alvarez and San Diego Academy students who offered a devotional in instrumental music, including several Christmas hymns. A select set of students also accompanied Kessler to share with NADEA members of their thoughts and perspectives of the experiences at San Diego Academy and how their studies are preparing them for a productive future, in service to God and fellow man. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 4, 2009)

A Blessing in Music - Shown here is Mr. Alvarez, music instructor for San Diego Academy, introducing one of four instrumentals provided by academy students. Alvarez has served for twelve years at San Diego Academy and is much appreciated for his contributions to growing young Christians each year as he serves. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 4, 2009)

SA President Shares His Perspective - Ian Thomas, in his second year of attendance at San Diego Academy, provided a rich perspective of what his experience has been like at the academy and the host of activities planned by students to facilitate their spiritual, academic, and social growth. NADEA member truly appreciated gaining student perspectives in order to more fully appreciate the various on-campus benefits San Diego Academy students realize. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 4, 2009)

Dr. Carol Campbell Discusses Curriculum Models - As part of an effort to provide at least one professional growth component at the December round of NADEA meetings, the NAD Office of Education, this year, invited Dr. Carol Campbell, Dean of the School of Education at Southwestern Adventist University to explore with NADEA members models that, if properly employed, could affect more effectively instructional strategies and outcomes. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 3, 2009)

Secondary Associates in Breakout Session - Chaired by Dennis Plubell, NAD Associate Director for Education, secondary associates were joined by directors to discuss such items as curricula standards, accreditation, strategic planning, teacher professional growth, academy evaluation schedules, longevity data, re: secondary school principals, work/study issues, and a host of other items. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 3, 2009)

Kriegelstein’s Morning Devotional Opens Meetings In San Diego - Gathered to being the 2009 late fall meetings of the NAD Education Advisory, John Kriegelstein focused his devotional thoughts on reminding educators of the importance of keeping students’ interests first and foremost. “Educator, Who Are You,” was the title of Krieglestein’s PowerPoint presentation, and it contained a blend of reminders from both the Scriptures and E.G. White’s writings of the importance of the proper education for our youth. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 2, 2009)

NADEA Convenes to Address Curriculum in Education - Composed of nearly 60 educators from SDA K-12 and higher education, the NAD Education Advisory is responsible primarily for addressing administrative and curricula concerns for SDA education. The task the remains ever before the NADEA is to strive to affect a high level of quality in every initiative taken, every solution for issues addressed. This group meets both in May and December of each year, and its decisions affect SDA educators in terms of teaching strategies, content, and professional growth. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 2, 2009)

Dr. Kelly Keys in on Discussion - Ian Kelly, Associate Director for Secondary Education (right) was particularly interested in a discussion regarding national standards and how such standards might ultimately affect school evaluation and accreditation processes and outcomes. Sitting to Kelly’s right is Astrid Thomassian, Director of Education for the Atlantic Union Conference and to the far left is Dr. Dennis Marshall, Director of Education for the SDA Church of Canada. (Courtyard Marriott; San Diego, CA; December 2, 2009)

Family Pays Tribute to Dr. Adrian Westney - The Metropolitan SDA Church in Hyattsville, MD was filled to capacity to hear a multitude of tributes to Elder Adrian Westney, long-time servant to the Lord in various ministries within the Columbia Union. Shown here are his sister and brother, Dr. Lennox Westney, offering perspectives on Brother Adrian’s youthful years. The moments shared were poignant, touched with a bit of humor. (Metropolitan SDA Church; Hyattsville, MD; November 19, 2009)

Carson Lifts Up a Colleague - Wally Carson, CU Counsel and fellow religious liberty leader alongside Elder Westney, spoke of Dr. Westney’s dedication to religious liberty themes; his tireless work, re: WGTS Sabbath morning radio broadcasts; and Dr. Westney’s extraordinary diligence to all tasks to which he applies his energy. (Metropolitan SDA Church; Hyattsville, MD; November 19, 2009)

The Current Speaks to the Former - Cynthia Poole-Gibson, current headmaster of Pine Forge Academy, shared with all present the incredible contributions of Elder Westney to PFA including leading the institution through a very difficult time in its history. Elder Westney served as the 7th headmaster of the academy and is deeply loved and appreciated by many alumni, former and current faculty, and students currently attending. (Metropolitan SDA Church; Hyattsville, MD; November 19, 2009)

Weigley Shares of Mission and Accomplishments - Elder Dave Weigley, Columbia Union Conference President, gave his quarterly report to members of the Columbia Union Executive Committee. Among the items presented: (1) overseas mission; (2) recent local conference constituency meetings; (3) young adult initiatives; and (4) preliminary plans for the upcoming General Conference session in Atlanta, GA. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 19, 2009)

Mike Stevenson Brings Back Memories - Mike Stevenson, Ohio Conference Youth/Young Adults Leader, not only provided the devotional for the Executive Committee but also rekindled fond memories for those who attended the Pathfinder Camporee this past summer. Slides of places, faces, and joyful moments kept the attention of all ExecComm members. Stevenson hared a short DVD introducing the theme for the next international Pathfinder Camporee in August 2014. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 19, 2009)

Oshkosh Pathfinders Revisited - Pam Schieb, Pennsylvania Conference Pathfinder Director, is pictured with Union officers, David Weigley, Neville Harcombe, and Seth Bardu - joined by Mike Stevenson. The framed presentation includes a pin representing each of the participating Columbia Union Pathfinder clubs that attended the Oshkosh Camporee this past August. The pin collection will be hung on a wall in the Union office complex. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 19, 2009)

Attiken Shares a Vision in Action - Dr. Raj Attiken, President of the Ohio Conference, used graphic visuals to portray in quantitative terms the thrust of local church ministries across the Ohio field. Stressing the importance of community penetration through genuine relationships that serve the needs of community members, Attiken identified several important strategies that are driving target results, i.e., college/university campus young adult ministries. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 19, 2009)

Colburn Listens - Attiken Delivers - Jay Colburn, Superintendent of Education for the Ohio Conference, is pictured listening to the report offered by his conference president regarding evangelistic and mission-driven initiatives featured in various ministries of the Ohio Conference. Jay and his colleague in the OHCOE, Cindy French-Puterbaugh (Associate Superintendent) shape their leadership of education ministry in full harmony with the strategic objectives of the conference. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 19, 2009)

Caucusing for General Conference Delegate Nominations - With the General Conference session scheduled for July 2010, this ExecComm meeting was, in part, focused on the nomination and approval of local conference delegates to the session. Prior to the final vote, local conferences caucused to determine which ExecComm members from their respective conference ExecComm representatives would be nominated as GC delegates. Shown here is the Chesapeake Conference group at work. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 19, 2009)

Washington Adventist University Convenes - Meeting for the second time in the current academic year, Elder Dave Weigley, chairman of the WAU Board of Trustees, calls the meeting to order. With over 140 new students at WAU this year and an increase in FTEs of over 18% (traditional and graduate combined), WAU’s financial picture has notably improved. Moreover, it was announced that groundbreaking for the new music building will be on April 9, 2010. (WAU - Morrison Hall Chapel; Silver Spring, MD; November 18, 2009)

President Spence Reports Good News - In addition to providing more specifics, re: opening enrollment and FFTEs, President Spence informed trustees of major improvements in on-campus activities, spirituality, sports programs, academic offerings, proposed new graduate programs, and student satisfaction. Spence reported while measurable progress is being realized in many areas, challenges remain requiring board input and contribution. (WAU - Morrison Hall Chapel; Silver Spring, MD; November 18, 2009)

Poole-Gibson Introduces K-16 CUBOE Worship - Ms. Cynthia Poole-Gibson, Headmaster of Pine Forge Academy and member of the K-16 Columbia Union Board of Education, introduced the devotional/choral program presented by members of the Pine Forge Academy choir. Singing four songs that were truly uplifting, PFA students offered, through their music, quintessential evidence of one of many values Adventist education instills in young people. The Office of Education secured this appointment over a year ago, given the high demand for PFA choral appointments. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 17, 2009)

PFA Choir Members Make An Impression - Not only is this choir top quality, but it’s made more so by its students who are wholly committed to their school’s mission. Many of these students are top quality performers not only in music but in academic disciplines. To listen to one of their selections, go to the videos link on this website (Education) and click “PFA Choir SINGS!” You’ll truly enjoy what you hear! (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 17, 2009)

CUBOE’s Heavy Agenda - Among the items addressed by the members of the Board of Education: (1) major/minor Education Code revisions and newly proposed policies; (2) recommendation to the CU ExecComm that the ECEC/Pre-K position be elevated to full-time; (3) curriculum standards adoption; (4) Physiology & Nutrition Committee recommendations; (4) 2010 Education Wage Scale; (5) overseas travel approvals; (6) adoption of a new emergency procedures manual; and (7) approval of a new Administrators Award proposal. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 17, 2009)

Sullivan Makes the Case! - Evelyn Sullivan, Columbia Union’s Early Childhood Education/Care Coordinator for the last eleven months, shares with CUBOE members the statistics, re: (1) existing ECEC church- and school-based programs, (2) Pre-K programs now in place; and (3) those planned (22) for opening in both churches and schools over the next 24 months. Given the vote of the CU ExecComm, Ms. Sullivan will be very busy in expanded responsibilities, addressing ECEC/Pre-K needs and issues across the Columbia Union. (Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 17, 2009)

A Fallen Young Hero is Honored - Planned for months, Waldwick Seventh-day Adventist School experienced a high day on Sunday, November 16th; the day chosen to honor Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero, a Waldwick SDA School alumnus who died in Iraq while in service to his country. Carefully laid out on the stage of the gym being dedicated as a memorial in his honor, the late Sgt. Cadavero’s medals, uniform, and other memorabilia were on display for all guests to see. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

“Amazing Grace” - Touches Hearts - Pictured is Shirley-Ann Laurencin, having just finished singing a wonderful rendition of “Amazing Grace.” With the Waldwick gymnasium soon to be dedicated as a memorial to Sgt. Cadavero, Ms. Laurencin’s special music was particularly moving. You can here it on the “Videos” link on the Office of Education website. Listen and see why so many present thoroughly enjoyed her talent. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

Mayor Russell T. Litchult Pays Tribute - Paying tribute to the memory of Sgt. Cadavero, the mayor of Waldwick presented a mayoral proclamation of appreciation to the Waldwick SDA School and Cadavero family. Speaking on behalf of all Waldwick citizens, Mayor Litchult’s presentation was a moving tribute deeply appreciated by the Cadavero family. Earlier, Mayor Litchult visited with members of the Cadavero family to personally express his appreciation for Sgt. Cadavero’s service and sacrifice. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

Principal Edwards Accepts the Proclamation - Principal Wayne D. Edwards emceed the evening’s ceremonies and was very pleased to accept, on behalf of the Waldwick SDA school and community, the proclamation provided by Mayor Litchult. Edwards’s plan is for the framed proclamation to be prominently displayed in the school so that all who visit the school will know of one of the school’s honored alumni. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

Chaplain Davis Gives the Tribute Address - Serving at West Point Academy, Chaplain Primitivo Davis gave the main address for the evening. Having served three tours in the combat theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan, Davis gave three reasons why, while never personally meeting Sgt. Cadavero, he knew him. Citing some favorite quotations from the website dedicated to Sgt. Cadavero, Davis reminded all present why Sgt. Cadavero is worthy of being memorialized as one willing to volunteer for challenging service; filled with courage, integrity, and principle. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

A Proud Father Speaks of His Son - David Cadavero, current Superintendent of Greater New York Conference and former superintendent of both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Conferences in the Columbia Union, spoke eloquently and movingly of his son. Reflecting on Jonathan’s many fine qualities and his experiences both in elementary school and college, David and members of his family expressed appreciation for the strong support the family has received from many who, through phone calls, emails, flowers, and other expressions, have lifted up and continue to remember the Cadavero family. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

A Loving Mother Remembers Her Son - Nadia Cadavero, who has for many years served at the Waldwick SDA School, spoke lovingly of her adored son. She invoked and shared memories of Jonathan’s desire to help others, citing in particular what he hoped he could do to provide financial assistance to families who desired to send their children to Waldwick SDA School but could not afford to do so. Jonathan often gave chapel talks and words of encouragement to students of Waldwick. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

Atlantic Union Director of Education Offers Recollections - Astrid Thomassian recalled Sgt. Cadavero’s younger days in those times when he was a young member of the church her husband, Leon, pastored. Thomassian shared humorous anecdotes of Jonathan’s Sabbath School days and how Jonathan, among his many other qualities, also had a joyful sense of humor. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

Three Qualities of a Special Young Man - Jonathan was (1) a man of action - who knew what had to be done in most circumstances and went about doing it with conviction; (2) a man of integrity - who upheld principles and sought only one course to uphold them, the right course; and (3) an advocate for the “little guy” - who consistently stood up for the disadvantaged. I considered it a privilege to speak of only several of Sgt. Cadavero’s many qualities. (Waldwick SDA School Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

A Prayer Offered - The dedicatory prayer was offered by Dr. Richard Marker, President of the Greater New York Conference. Dr. Marker offered words of support to the Cadavero family and spoke of how future students of Waldwick will appreciate the gifts given by Sgt. Cadavero to students and alumna of the school. Moreover, he expressed the belief that future students will know that Sgt. Cadavero was a young man who gave his all, in a principled way, for a cause in which he deeply believed - the cause of freedom. (Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero Memorial Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

The Unfurled Banner - Members of the Cadavero family were invited by Principal Edwards to participate in unveiling plaques and banners shortly after the dedicatory prayer. The pictured banner will allow future students to see the face of the fallen soldier for whom the gymnasium was dedicated. All present were reminded by several of the presenters what wearing the uniform of the US Army meant to Jonathan and how he was meticulous in meeting all uniform standards. (Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero Memorial Gymnasium; Waldwick, NJ; November 15, 2009)

The PFABOT Meets - The Pine Forge Academy Board of Trustees met to address its quarterly agenda, including considerations of enrollment, finances, development, on-campus challenges, programming, and other matters of importance to trustees. I was privileged to make a presentation on the roles and responsibilities of board members. (PFA: Wagner Hall; Pine Forge, PA; November 15, 2009)

Board Leaders Provide Perspectives - Pictured (left to right) are Elder Lawrance Martin, Conference/Academy Treasurer; Headmaster Cynthia Poole-Gibson; and Elder Charles Cheatham, Conference President/PFA Board Chairman. All three leaders are significant contributors to facilitating the mission and programming of the academy. (PFA: Wagner Hall; Pine Forge, PA; November 15, 2009)

Emplaning the WRAT Test: Purposes and Benefits - Karohn Young, Chesapeake Conference teacher, presented to junior and senior academy personnel instructions, purposes, and benefits of the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT), a diagnostic test that educators can use to identify and ultimately assist students who face learning challenges. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 9, 2009)

Stevenson Energizes the MVABOT - Rob Stevenson (left), principal of Mount Vernon Academy, addresses members of the Mount Vernon Academy Board of Trustees, sharing with them enrollment statistics; retention points; recent on-campus events including the decision of a number of students to seek baptism; and his plans for improving transport modes for MVA students. Stevenson is in his first year as principal of MVA, having most recently served as principal of Madison Academy in Tennessee. Elder Raj Attiken (pictured), board chair and president of the Ohio Conference, capably guides this academy board from meeting to meeting. (MVA Cafeteria; Mt. Vernon, OH; November 2, 2009)

Sutton Talks About Development Opportunities - Margaret Sutton, Development Director for MVA, reports to the board of the progress being made in development initiatives this school year. Notwithstanding that the economic climate has made her work more challenging, there is a potential development on campus that board members find most encouraging and are praying for its success. Margaret is a dedicated, diligent director who loves MVA. (MVA Cafeteria; Mt. Vernon, OH; November 2, 2009)

Zeismer Shares What’s Happening at BMA - Craig Zeismer (left), principal of Blue Mountain Academy, is pictured presenting a report to members of the BMA Board of Trustees. Among the items included in his report: (1) enrollment trends data over several decades, (2) retention data and efforts to strengthen retention strategies, (3) how administration and faculty are preparing for a Spring school evaluation, and (4) personnel matters. Zeismer is in his first year as BMA principal, having most recently served as principal of Bass Memorial Academy in Mississippi. Elder Ray Hartwell, (pictured) who chairs the BMA board, provided a brief orientation to new members meeting with the BMABOT for the first time. (BMA Administration Building; Hamburg, PA; November 3, 2009)

Roles and Responsibilities: Not-for-Profit Boards - John Larrabee, member of the BMABOT and chair of its finance subcommittee, provided a short growth seminar to board members on roles and responsibilities of board members. Mixing humor effectively with core presentation points, Larrabee reminded board members of their primary duty to assure that each is diligent to engage in discussions and actions taken by the board, all filtered through the institution’s mission, to advance the best interests of the academy. (BMA Administration Building; Hamburg, PA; November 3, 2009)

NADOUP Prepares the Way! - The North American Division Officers and Union Presidents (NADOUP) met to review the NADCOM year-end agenda and accompanying documents to finalize what would be presented to delegates through the duration of the meetings. NADOUP is a policy generating council that not only includes union presidents, but all union officers, including vice presidents, and other select representatives. NADOUP’s work was addressed efficiently, effectively, and thoroughly, paving the way for NADCOM meetings to move forward with set plans for proposed actions. (General Conference; Silver Spring, MD; November 4, 2009)

NADBOE in Action - The North American Division Board of Education focused much of its time and energy listening to reports on projects (Pathways, Science Curriculum, ECEC, Secondary Standards, REACH, etc.). Time was also allotted to briefly discuss board structure and K-12 accreditation issues. There were three significant votes taken: (1) contract with Kendall Hunt to write ECEC curricula; (2) support the Valuegenesis 3 initiative emanating from La Sierra University’s Hancock Center; and (3) approve academy applications for two schools, one in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the other in Dallas, TX. (General Conference; Silver Spring, MD; November 5, 2009)

Dr. Kido Briefs NADBOE on CognitiveGenesis - Dr. Elissa Kido brought NADBOE members up to date on data collection in this, the last fully-funded year of the CognitiveGenesis initiative. Stating that a strategic plan is in place to extend CG research into the future, she briefed the board on projected strategies for analyses and information dissemination. Moreover, she fielded questions that grew from the news that other private systems have expressed a keen interest in using the CG model to conduct research of students in their respective systems. In the not-too-distant future, findings will be noted in a number of journals, including refereed academic journals, and in a book that will be reader friendly and geared to equip students, parents, and educators, as well as pastors and church administrators at all levels. (General Conference; Silver Spring, MD; November 5, 2009)

Dr. Thayer Addresses NADBOE, re: CognitiveGenesis - Dr. Jerry Thayer (Andrews University), Associate Research Director for CognitiveGenesis and a valued colleague on both the CG Executive Committee and Advisory, presented select items, i.e., science, that demonstrate how Adventist students are faring academically based on achievement and predicted ability. Dr. Thayer, Dr. Kido, and Dr. Bob Cruise have been primary presenters over the last three academic years across the NAD, updating educators on process, analyses, and preliminary findings. (General Conference; Silver Spring, MD; November 5, 2009)

Share the Hope: Year of Evangelism - Elder Don Schneider (right), President of the North American Division, opens the initial session of the 2009 NAD Committee year-end meetings. Throughout the meeting, and projected through the balance of all of this year’s sessions, was the theme of evangelism. Video presentations were sprinkled throughout the sessions, including one that featured a young member of the Columbia Union Executive Committee, emphasizing local evangelistic initiatives to spread the good news of a loving and soon-to-return Savior. (General Conference Auditorium; Silver Spring, MD; November 5, 2009)

Kids in Discipleship: An Initiative for Our Youth - Kathy Goddard (left), Curriculum Designer for “Kids in Discipleship,” a major initiative for children based in Collegedale, TN, is assisted by a youngster and his mother to illustrate the importance of keeping Jesus central in the day-day-day experience of our young ones. G0ddard suggested that our children need to keep Jesus both in their minds and hearts and that parents, teachers, preachers and others must play a role in keeping Jesus ever before our children and helping them to be messengers of good news. Kathy is a former CU educator and her presentation was one of the highlights of Sabbath School. (General Conference Auditorium; Silver Spring, MD; November 7, 2009)

Global Missions: Helping Those Who Seek and Need - Transition time from Sabbath School to the Hour of Divine Worship was taken by a panel of presenters who reminded delegates of the importance of global missions to the Church. Using a humorous video that raised a very serious point, panel members shared perspectives and thanked the NAD for its strong support of missions initiative. A number of Columbia Union academy-aged youth have been heavily involved in overseas missions, including building a school in Maluti, Lesotho this past September. (General Conference Auditorium; Silver Spring, MD; November 7, 2009)

K-12 CUCC Addresses Full Agenda - LaVona Gillham and Ian Kelly, Associate Directors of Education, co-chaired two days of meetings that, among other items, addressed R.E.A.C.H. (learning challenged); Pathways (whole language/reading); certification issues; curriculum standards; recommendations from the Physiology & Nutrition ad hoc committee; early childhood education/care; dual credit (secondary/tertiary); and alternative textbook procedures for secondary education. The CUCC meets again on February 1&2, 2010. (Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; October 19, 2009)

Saint-Ulysse Speaks of Mission - Meeting with the CU K-12 Curriculum Committee for the first time as Superintendent of Education for the New Jersey Conference, Elder Sadrail Saint-Ulysse provided morning devotional to start Wednesday morning’s session. The central focus of his remarks was mission. While speaking, contextually, of his humble Haitian beginnings, Saint-Ulysse reminded CUCC members that Christ’s calling to educators is to assist young people in making life better for themselves and others through education; and that the Lord wants all to thrive both here on earth as well as in the heavenly kingdom. (Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; October 19, 2009)

CEOS Challenge to Superintendents - Dr. Bertram Melbourne, Professor of Theology at the School of Divinity, Howard University challenged members of the Superintendents Council to engage in the national initiative called “College Educate Our Sons.” The primary purpose of the initiative is to facilitate college opportunities for minority and disadvantaged young men who might otherwise not attend college. Melbourne provided strategies to SC members that they could both utilize and share with others in promoting and supporting this important project. (Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; October 21, 2009)

Safford: Search and Seizure Implications - Attorney Wally Carson provided an overview of Safford United School District v. Redding (USSC, Case #08-479) to members of the Columbia Union School Administrators Council (CUSAC), re: search and seizure, and the emphasized the lessons that could be drawn from it. In addition, Carson facilitated a “Q&A” on a wide range of topics, setting the ground work, perhaps, for his next presentation to CUSAC in February 2010. (Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; October 21, 2009)

WAU: Education Department Programs & Progress - Dr. Jeannette Rogers-Dulan (left) and Anne Dunbebin of Washington Adventist University’s Department of Education, briefed CUSAC members of the exciting initiatives underway in preparing education majors for their chosen life’s work. On a broader scale, members were informed of the 42% increase in this year’s FR class (as compared to that of 2008), and the 92% increase in transfers to WAU - totaling over 140 new students to the traditional and graduate programs combined. (Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; October 22, 2009)

WAU/CUSAC Partnership for Student Teacher Placements - LaVona Gillham, CU Associate Director of Education, chaired a meeting of the conference associates and superintendents of those conferences that placed WAU student teachers in their respective schools/academies for practicums. The success of last year’s program has not stopped the group from exploring ways to make the program even more effective and successful. The CU Office of Education is a partner in this project and is one partner among several that provide funding to help offset placement costs. (Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; October 22, 2009)

CUSAC: Policies, Proposals, Planning & Production - Over 30 educational leaders met for two days of meetings, addressing significant K-12 agenda items, among which were (1) over a dozen Education Code revisions/proposals; (2) 9-12 curricula/standards; (3) 2010 wage scale; (4) overseas travel requests; (5) ECEC/Pre-K personnel status change; (6) nominations for Outstanding Educator/Administrator awards; (7) adoption of a new emergency procedures manual, and many other items. The minutes of this group are carried forward, with accompanying actions/recommendations to the Columbia Union K-16 Board of Education for approval in mid-November. (Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; October 22, 2009)



Who is the Director of Your Life? - Pastor Paul Graham, currently a pastor in the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and experienced over 13 years in youth and young adult ministries, was the keynote devotional speaker for the annual Potomac Pastor/Teacher Convention. The title of his presentation “Holy Spirit Directed” focused attendees on the importance of having a personal relationship with the divine Spirit. He reminded convention participants that God empowers each to be led by the Holy Spirit and that we should ever seek the outpouring of the Spirit that the Lord’s work in us and through us might go forward in a mighty way. (Crowne Plaza Convention Hall; Williamsburg, VA; October 12, 2009)

The “Moments” in our Lives - Elder Bill Miller, president of the Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists effectively used illustrations, video-clips, and substantive, reflective insights (1 Samuel 13:22 - 14:15) to challenge convention attendees to consider the moments in their lives - how we use the moments God gives to us in our lives to do His work. Consist with the theme of Spirit-driven mission, Miller reminded all that having the Holy Spirit in one’s life best equips one to effectively do the work each is called to do, whether in pastoral or teaching ministry. (Crowne Plaza Convention Hall; Williamsburg, VA; October 12, 2009)

Getting Ready to Learn the “Language of Virtues” - Teachers were teamed in groups in preparation for the topic of the breakout session, “Journey to Excellence Through the Lens of Virtues.” The Potomac Office of Education team sought, through this focus, to facilitate its emphasis on mission - on assisting and equipping teachers to maximize their effectiveness communicating, working, and empathizing with each other and especially with students. Tying the SDA “Journey to Excellence” standards with the “Language of Virtues,” teachers were equipped and tasked to make a positive difference each day in dealings with and teaching of students. (Crowne Plaza Convention Hall; Williamsburg, VA; October 13, 2009)

Exhortations and Introductions - Keith Hallam, new Vice President for Education of the Potomac Conference, began the breakout session with affirmation and encouragement to the teacher work force of the conference. Hallam came to Potomac Conference after serving as principal of Auburn Academy for well over a decade. His enthusiasm for Adventist education is infectious and his desire to have a mission-driven, mission-focused teacher workforce is clearly evident. Keith also introduced his two new office colleagues. (Crowne Plaza Convention Hall; Williamsburg, VA; October 13, 2009)

A New Face in the Southern District - Nancy Melashenko, seen here introducing the breakout seminar, is the new Associate Superintendent for the Southern District of the Potomac Conference. A educator with considerable teaching and administrative experience, Nancy has stepped into her work, using her wealth of experience, seeking to facilitate teacher professional growth and Spirit-driven teaching. Nancy adds an invaluable dimension and perspectives to the new conference OE team. (Crowne Plaza Convention Hall; Williamsburg, VA; October 13, 2009)

Becoming Acquainted with the Five Strategies - Dara Feldman, founder and CEO of Heart of Education, and who currently works for the Washington DC public school system, was the major presenter for educators. Not only did she ask educators to identify their own strength and growth virtues, but familiarized them with all identified project virtues and how to employ them daily through five strategies. Ms. Feldman is recognized as a “master” teacher by the National Teacher Training Institute. (Crowne Plaza Convention Hall; Williamsburg, VA; October 13, 2009)

Ministerio Alabanza Pura - Pure Praise Ministry, a Spanish SDA singing group organized and directed by Ms. Becky Rivas (pictured), led convention participants in lively, uplifting song. Ms. Rivas serves in the Centro de Evangelismo y Discipulado Adventista, and together with her colleagues share this musical talents with a variety of congregations. If you would like to listen to some of what convention attendees and Pure Praise Ministry lifted up in song, go the video section of the Education site on and click on Ministerio Alabanza Pura. You’ll like what you hear! (Crowne Plaza Convention Hall; Williamsburg, VA; October 13, 2009)



Historic ECECA/UDOEC Meeting - For the first time ever, members of the Early Childhood Education and Care Advisory and Union Directors of Education Council met for two days to discuss the major frameworks, philosophy, mission, etc. for ECEC and Pre-K centers (school and church-based). Participants were deliberate and thorough in hammering out key statements and taking three significant actions that will facilitate the positioning of ECEC union leaders in overseeing programs. Moreover, recognizing that this important work is in its early stages, ECEC/UDOEC members will meet in joint session at least twice in 2010 to continue this important work, including securing sound legal positioning to move forward. (Embassy Committee Room; Phoenix, AZ; October 5, 2009)

CU’s ECEC Coordinator Contributes - Pictured is Evelyn Sullivan, CU’s own ECEC/Pre-K coordinator, who has been instrumental in launching our work in the union. Although Evelyn has been in her job for one year, she has become a leading voice in facilitating the work of her peers. Columbia Union currently has 62 ECEC/Pre-K programs operating (school- and church-based) and over the next 24 months, 22 institutions have indicated an interest in launching an ECEC program of their own. Needless to say, this ECEC ministry is much bigger than most envisioned it to be. We currently have over 1,200 children being served in these programs throughout the Columbia Union. (Embassy Committee Room; Phoenix, AZ; October 6,, 2009)

“Pioneer” ECEC Leaders Recognized - Ms. Christine Byrne, Associate Director for ECEC of the Pacific Union (arms outstretched) and Tamara Libonati (to the left) from the Southern Union are each receiving awards for their contributions to the advancement of ECEC/Pre-K ministry throughout the NAD. Each took up the respective mantle of the true pioneers (Dr. Marilyn Beach and Dr. Norwida Marshall) to identify and organize ECECs, write key protocols and foundational documents, promote the establishment of the NAD-ECECA, etc. These two leaders are also assisting the many new ECEC union leaders from other fields to become better acquainted with the scope and demands of ECEC work at the Union level. (Embassy Committee Room; Phoenix, AZ; October 6, 2009)


Deuteronomy 6:7 - A Devotional Message - Pastor Sadrail Saint-Ulysse, Superintendent of Education for the New Jersey Conference, presented the devotional for the Sunday morning governance seminar I provided to educators and board members. Knowing what one’s priorities must be to facilitate education ministry is important to all, particularly those called to leadership. Pastor Saint-Ulysse, as a new superintendent, is off to a great start - highly credible and much respected. (New Jersey Conference Office; Trenton, NJ; September 27, 2009)

“Learning from the Best” - Gene Frost’s book, Learning from the Best: Growing Greatness in the Christian School was the primary source for the material presented in seminar format for attendees. Pictured here are two small groups in activity, discussing three fundamental questions: (1) What is “right” about Adventist Education; (2) What is “wrong” with Adventist education; and (3) What remedies could be suggested for the challenges faced by Adventist education? Interesting insights and perspectives launched significant feedback to start initial seminar discussions. (New Jersey Conference Office; Trenton, NJ; September 27, 2009)

How to Make Home & School Associations More Effective - LaVona Gillham provided a seminar to a small group of Home & School leaders which was much appreciated by all. Several interesting new concepts, formats, and initiatives were cited in the group’s discussions, including how technology might more effectively accelerate H&S agendas and positive impact on and off school campuses. (New Jersey Conference Office; Trenton, NJ; September 27, 2009)

Honoring Elder Neal Wilson - As part of his report, Elder Dave Weigley, CU President, showed a slide of a special recognition bestowed on former GC President Elder Neal Wilson. Elder Wilson’s “signature” impact on the Columbia Union is well-known and deeply appreciated. He is, to say the least, deeply loved and highly respected. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; September 24, 2009)

A Prayer for God’s Leading - Pictured here are Elders Dave Weigley (center left) and Neville Harcombe (center right) offering prayers for John Konrad (WGTS General Manager) and Terry Johnnson (WGTS Radio Chaplain). The presentation by WGTS was incredibly encouraging noting that the listening audience for the station has grown dramatically in recent years and that the station is tied for first in the nation for Christian radio broadcast audience. 91.9 on your radio dial when you are in the Greater DC area! (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; September 24, 2009)

A Vision Revealed for AWC - Elder Freddie Russell, President of the Allegheny West Conference, presented his vision and plans for the Allegheny West Conference to CU ExecComm members. His presentation was the same offered to the delegates at the recent AWC constituency meeting where Elder Russell was re-elected conference president and where enthusiasm, energy, and exciting plans for church growth and expanded conference ministries was unveiled. Among the key agenda items during this term for Elder Russell is a vitalized, expanded vision for Christian education. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; September 24, 2009)

ECEC Report to the CU Executive Committee - Three months in the making, the report of ECEC/Pre-K programs and their distribution, impact, and overall fit into CUOE planning was presented to CU ExecComm members. To date, though numbers offered here are not definitive, they are daunting nonetheless with regard to the CUOE overseeing such programs: 23 school-based ECECs; 7 church-based ECECs; and 34 Pre-K programs totaling nearly 1,500 children most of which are non-SDA. Creating a systematized, effective, and efficient approach to overseeing these programs will be a challenge. While neither Evelyn Sullivan nor I are pictured here, you’ll note the PP introduction just as we began a 15 minute presentation. More information along this regard will be forthcoming. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; September 24, 2009)

The ECEC “Duo” Make the Case - Pictured here is Evelyn Sullivan, ECEC Coordinator for the Union, and me as we worked together to strike just the right mix of statistical data with heart-warming narrative of how children and parents are affected by the ECEC/Pre-K ministry. SEE POWER POINT PRESENTATIONS ON THIS SITE FOR ECEC PRESENTATION. Many ExecComm members made a point to express their deep appreciation and support for the work being done and what must follow to make the work more effective. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; September 24, 2009)

CURF: Advancing Ministries - Pictured here is the Columbia Union Revolving Fund board of directors in session. The CURF’s sole purpose for existence is to advance the Word of God and foster evangelism in various ministries, including education, through support for church and school building projects - assisting congregations! I have been a member of the BOD for nearly 14 years and have been blessed to see great strides in CURF’s on-going impact in advancing God’s work. (Union Office, 3rd FL Conference; Columbia, MD; September 21, 2009)

A Splendid Wedding, Indeed! - After spending two days in Montebello, VA (Camp Blue Ridge) to help launch the 2009 SALT Conference, I hurriedly made my way to Cary, NC to attend the wedding of my niece, Jenna. Pictured here just as they were exchanging vows, Jenna and Jared, two wonderful Christian young people, will be certain to keep Christ at the very center of their relationship and home. The outdoor wedding was a beautiful experience in every way. (MacGregor Downs Country Club; Cary, NC; September 19, 2009)



Our Youngest Grandson - Little Ethan is a happy little fellow who, in play, loves to be engaged. He is a bundle of joy that brings incredible happiness to all who know him - especially his Mom, Dad, Grandmas and Grandpas. (Columbia, MD; September 12, 2009)

Kooper Visits the Baltimore Aquarium - The whole family made its way to the National Aquarium in Baltimore this past Sunday and had a “blast” especially in the 4-D theater. Kooper is a lively fellow who loves to smile. He lights up a room with personality plus. (Columbia, MD; September 13, 2009)

Braden Gets a Haircut - Braden, our four and one-half year old grandson, the eldest of the three, loves his Aunt Heidi, who he calls Aunt “Douee, Douee.” The big smile shown here came at the end of a haircut, an experience that does not rank among the favorites of any of the grand kids. (Columbia, MD; September 12, 2009)

Flavorful Meal for BOE Members - Eighth-grade students of Worthington Adventist Academy prepare to pass out salads to members of the Ohio Conference K-12 Board of Education as part of a delicious meal provided prior to the meeting. These same students have been invited to the Worthington “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast” where they will be part of a student entourage participating in the special event. Almost all of the students pictured hail from countries other than America. (Worthington Adventist Academy; Worthington, OH; September 14, 2009)

An Agenda for the New School Year - Jay Colburn, Ohio Conference Superintendent of Schools (pictured center right - to the left of Elder Raj Attiken) led members of the OH K-12 BOE through a number of essential agenda items including but not limited to personnel, code adoption, policy revision proposals, updates on enrollments K-12 and 9-12, etc. Preliminary reports seem to indicate that the total conference K-12 opening enrollment will be very close to what is was in the 2008-2009 school year. (Worthington Adventist Academy; Worthington, OH; September 14, 2009)

2009 SALT Underway - With over 150 student leaders in attendance, the 2009 Spiritual Academy Leadership Training weekend was held at Camp Blue Ridge in Montebello, VA. Student leaders from junior and senior academies across the Columbia Union attend SALT every September to hone leadership skills and to facilitate mission on their respective campuses. Pictured here are SALT participants receiving instructions from Ms. Sheri Tydings (center) on Thursday night. VIDEO BLOGS: You will want to listen to and enjoy our young people in song service and special music presentations while at 2009 SALT. (Camp Blue Ridge - Cafeteria; Montebello, VA; September 17, 2009)

Outdoor Fun - Leaders from several academies, while waiting for the evening programming to commence, participated in several impromptu, organized by the students themselves. The laughter, energy, and enthusiasm was in full flow and helped to set up a grand evening of activities, formal and informal. (Camp Blue Ridge; Montebello, VA; September 17, 2009)

Breaking the “Ice” - Each year, academies are asked to take the lead in preparing “icebreaker” events on the first full evening of SALT. Students are imaginative in their planning, always wanting to present an activity that will be remembered by SALT participants as a highlight event. Perhaps most importantly, these icebreaker activities promote broad-based interaction between and among students from all schools. (Camp Blue Ridge - Town Hall; Montebello, VA; September 17, 2009)

Pastor Terry Speaks about Choices - Pastor Terry Johnnson, radio chaplain for WGTS, author, pastor, and currently completing a doctoral degree, was the featured speaker for this year’s conference. Pastor Terry’s keynote presentation had him sharing experiences he had as a youth in Portland Oregon; White House Honor Guard; and youth pastor. Central to all experiences shared was the importance of making the right choices by the leading of the Holy Spirit. “God has a plan for your life that is awesome,” Pastor Terry said, “and he will make it happen for you.” (Camp Blue Ridge - Town Hall; Montebello, VA; September 17, 2009)



PCOEAC Meets - Students Win! - In its first meeting of the school year, the Potomac Conference Office of Education Administrators Council was introduced formally to the new educational leadership team of Hallam/Melashenko/Bryant. After Elder Miller’s devotional, PCOEAC members went immediately into R.E.A.C.H. workshop, seeking to broaden understanding of and appreciation for a more inclusive approach to instruction, particularly for students who face academic challenges. (PC Office; Staunton, VA; September 1, 2009)

Workshop Presenters - Loida Doukmetzian (left) and Daveen Williams, both part-time special education specialists, were the main R.E.A.C.H. presenters. Using small group activities, case studies, and other interactive tools, Doukmetzian and Williams diligently equipped administrators with the necessary tools and workshop resources to assist their respective teaching faculty to meet the academic needs of students at all academic levels. (PC Office; Staunton, VA; September 1, 2009) 

KCMA Fall Convocation - Dr. Charles Scriven, President of KCMA, presented the convocation address, entitled, “Surprised by God.” He used the experience of Jacob (Gen. 28:10-19) to remind students that the Lord calls us to give our best. Pictured here is Justin and Bethany - my kids. Both are students in the physician assistant program and are beginning their FR year. This picture was taken just before the start of the program. (Kettering SDA Church; Kettering, OH; September 4, 2009)

SVA - Back in Their Own Building - Having waited for a year to return to their own building, the administration, faculty, staff, students and parents are pleased to reoccupy Spring Valley Academy. Many major renovations have been made at the academy since the fire of last school year. Pictured here is the new reception area and, to the right, Dr. Donovan Ross, Vice Principal. His kindness led him to provide a tour of the school for me to witness many of the changes that students and faculty now enjoy. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; September 4, 2009)

Mrs. Swetnam Celebrates! - The major renovations to the administrative office area provided Vicki Swetnam with an office that did not exist before the fire. Ms. Swetnam is an enthusiastic, efficient, and well-liked member of the office team.

Electrical Room - Where the Adventure Began - Pictured here is the newly installed electrical equipment in the power room. It was in this room where the electrical fire began, causing billows of smoke and triggering the alarm systems and fire-repressing water sprinkler system causing so much damage. What a difference!

New Lockers for SVA Students - Pictured here are only some of the new lockers provided for middle-grades students in their wing of the building. Dr. Ross shared that the students are thrilled to have their own lockers - lockers that were not available until this year.

Book It in the New Elementary Library - While students are pleased to be back in their own building, considerable work remains for the faculty as they attempt to restore key program components to facilitate instruction. The library for elementary students is not yet up and running but will be soon.

Sparkling New Bathrooms - It must be noted that bathroom renovations were underway before last year’s fire. Students are so pleased to have these newer areas and are taking great care to maintain them.

Elementary Computer Lab/New Computers - The elementary lab now houses 32 stations and is extensively used to facilitate instruction. It is one of three labs in the school.

Loving the New Look Lab - Given the extensive damage to both the facilities, stoves, storage areas, equipment, etc. the Home Economics Lab. This will certainly be among the many areas that parents and community members will want to see when the school sponsors an “open house” later in the month.


New MVA Principal - Pictured (far left) is Rob Stevenson, new Mount Vernon Academy principal. Rob is a seasoned administrator, most recently serving as principal of Madison Academy in Kentucky-Tennessee Conference. LaVona Gillham, Ian, Kelly and I spent a day with Rob, providing an orientation to the Columbia Union, re: Code, committees, calendar, functions, mutual expectations, etc. (MVA Administration Building; Mount Vernon, Ohio; August 27, 2009)

G. E. Peters Adventist School Rededicated - After sixteen months of closure due to extensive damage caused by a tornado, 0ver 250 people attended the rededication and opening of the school. The Prince Georges County just approved occupancy on Friday, August 28th, allowing the administration, faculty, and volunteers the needed time to prepare classrooms for use tomorrow morning. (G. E. Peters School; Hyattsville, MD; August 30, 2009 - BALANCE OF PHOTOS)

Color Guard Opens Ceremony - The processional involved four current students of the school, all part of the school’s drum corps and color guard. Precision was rewarded with applause as these fine young people’s role in the ceremonies caught the attention of all present. A sense of pride was clearly evident as the color guard contributed to a memorable experience.

Principal Savory Welcomes All - Evelyn P. Savory, school principal not only welcomed all to the rededication, but also recounted the incredible challenges that were faced and overcome throughout the sixteen month ordeal; relocation, enrollment and financial impacts, teaching challenges, etc. Savory was acknowledged by the board, parents, and faculty for her tireless efforts to affect successful transitions throughout the 16-months.

Browne’s Remarks Tell a Story - Angella Browne, school board chair, was instrumental in nearly every aspect of the school’s response to the tornado damage. Ms. Browne worked closely with the appointed building committee to make sure the very best work and materials reshaped the school. Here Ms. Browne recounts key tipping points in the past 16 months and she also thanked the Lord for His leading throughout the time of greatest challenge.

PG County Contributes - The day after the tornado struck in Spring 2008, County Executive Jack B. Johnson, worked diligently to assist the Metropolitan Church community and G. E. Peters to relocate students for school to continue. Mr. Johnson was determined to assist the school in not losing any of the 125 students enrolled at the time. With his own efforts greatly appreciated and acknowledged, here Mr. Johnson reads a county proclamation, acknowledging this special day of school rededication.

An International Ambassador Speaks! - Responding to a special invitation to participate in the rededication ceremony, Ambassador Debra Mae Lovell (Antigua & Barbuda) reminded the audience that the school’s namesake, Elder Peters, was an Antiguan with a vision - someone who truly loved education and knew its importance to the Church and community. Ms. Lovell offered words of encouragement to the school board, administration, and faculty to continue the important work of Christian education.

Restoration and Rejuvenation - I was privileged to participate in this wonderful rededication, focusing my brief message on the power of our Lord to restore and rejuvenate; a power that cannot be stayed by the torment of a whirlwind or its author. When Christians work together to tackle challenges, led by the Spirit, challenges can and will be overcome.

The Importance of Leadership - Sharing quotes of Maxwell and Blanchard, Dr. Spence, president of Washington Adventist University, challenged all present to continue offering strong support to Christian education at all levels; and to set and meet high and necessary standards at both home and school to best position young people for future service.

Rebuild! - Chairman of the building committee, Elder Sandy Crank, provided details of what was repaired and what is now new at G. E. Peters. He also spoke of the challenges - logistical, financial, and otherwise to make this day of rededication and school reopening possible.

How and Why Eagles Soar - Using the illustration of eagles, re: sight, care of eaglets, determined focus, senior pastor of the Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church Brenda Billingy gave a most encouraging message of how challenges can be faced and overcome and the important role that teachers and parents play in facilitating the academic and spiritual growth of children.

Prayer Makes a Difference! - Elder Henry Fordham, Executive Secretary of the Allegheny East Conference, offered the dedicatory prayer. His words reached into hearts; expressing thanks to God and seeking the ever-needed leading of the Spirit as the school goes forward. Elder Fordham is a beloved leader, powerful speaker, and strong supporter of Christian education.

Kettering SDA Church - Having attended the KCMA board of trustees meeting on Thursday where a number of important agenda items were addressed, I remained in Ohio to spend time with my loved ones. Bethany and Justin (pictured outside the church building) joined me at the Church to listen to guest pastor, Landon Lee, speak of the compelling power of Christian love. Pastor Lee’s wife will be the new English teacher at Spring Valley Academy in the coming academic year. (Kettering SDA Church; Kettering, OH; August 8, 2009)

New Principal of BMA - Pictured are Ginny Zeismer (far left), wife of Craig Zeismer (sitting to her right) while at an Italian restaurant in Port Clinton, PA. Ian, LaVona, and I had the privilege of spending several hours with Craig, providing an orientation to the new principal of Blue Mountain Academy. Craig comes to BMA with extensive experience, most recently as principal of Bass Memorial Academy in Gulf States Conference. The CUOE provides an extensive orientation to new CUSAC members every year, covering a wide range of topics, including an overview of the CU Education Code. (Ristorante Italiano; Port Clinton, PA; August 12, 2009)

Gym Roofing - Announced at the 2009 Blue Mountain Academy commencement exercise by PA Conference President Ray Hartwell, gym “re-roofing” is well under way. The expense for this project is offset, in large part, by the generosity of BMA supporters. The conference and school are underwriting the balance. As a former principal of BMA, I always feel privileged and pleased to contribute to its ongoing mission through the auspices of the CUOE. (Blue Mountain Academy; Hamburg, PA; August 12, 2009)

Dormitory Windows Replaced - Undertaking yet another major renovation to the residence halls on campus, Blue Mountain Academy’s board and administration have moved forward with replacing exterior windows in both the boys (pictured) and girls dormitories. In addition, the communal bathrooms are also in the process of renovation. Workers are making every effort to have completed the work on the dormitories in order to minimize any disruption to the school program, particularly as the new academic year is about to begin. (Blue Mountain Academy; Hamburg, PA; August 12, 2009)

Celebrating an Impending Birth - Tabitha Martinez, a faithful and effective member of the Treasury cohort, gave the Columbia Union office family reason to celebrate. All CU departments and workers came together for a baby shower, blending good food, games, and fun for Tabitha and baby’s sake. Lots of greetings, best wishes, and nice gifts were provided to Tabitha, pictured here preparing to enjoy her meal. Tabitha’s ministry is punctuated by friendliness, competence, and a constant desire to serve. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; July 29, 2009)

Celebrating a Birthday - In addition to the shower, we also celebrated Shannon Kornick’s birthday. Shannon is the administrative assistant to Elder Weigley and her work not only keeps our union president well-equipped and ready for his various tasks but also has a considerable impact on all CU family members. Shannon’s work facilitates leadership ministries, and ground-level planning, re: seminars/workshops. Shannon is also an expectant mother. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; July 29, 2009)

Dr. Art Chadwick - SWAU - Members of the CU Presidents Council met in Sedona, AZ for a professional growth retreat. We focused on presentations made by Dr. Art Chadwick, SWAU professor and well-known SDA geologist. Dr. Chadwick’s presentations provided interesting, if not compelling, information tied not only to his multiple field sites’ findings, re: archeological digs, but more importantly, how Scripture complements what open-minded geologists are both finding and asking. Creation and science are complements, and Dr. Chadwick’s information, contextualized in scriptural writings, was thought-provoking and enlightening to retreat attendees. (Sedona, AZ; July 31, 2009)

Oakcreek Canyon - After a Sabbath morning of songs, prayer, and sermon (Dr. Chadwick), Sabbath afternoon took us to the Grand Canyon. While on the way, Dr. Chadwick and the tour bus driver/guide gave interesting historical, geological, and environmental insights, re: local geography, topography, forest growth, etc. Pictured are Ponderosa pine, photographed while we were in en route. An infestation of pine bark beetles have wreaked havoc with pine forests. Though the beetles are part of a natural cycle, the prolonged drought in the Southwest (12-13 years) has exacerbated consequences to overall forest growth and health. (En route to Grand Canyon; August 1, 2009)

Canyon’s Majestic View - Having arrived on the South Rim, the view looking out in the Grand Canyon was nothing short of breath-taking. In addition to the rugged natural beauty, having Dr. Chadwick along to answer the myriad of questions posed by the group, re: chronology, sediments, radiometric dating, Dr. Chadwick’s own site visits and explorations, etc. made the visit educational as well as, if you will, therapeutic. One cannot doubt the awesome power and wonder of God’s creative hand when one looks out at so strikingly beautiful a site. With my summer being so busy with expected and unexpected challenges, this “touch” of adventure and learning was just what I needed before the start of the new school year. (Grand Canyon; August 1, 2009)

AU Pastor/Teacher Convention - Dr. Clifford Jones, Andrews University professor, was the Monday morning devotional speaker at the Atlantic Union Conference convention. His thoughts were centered around the texts in John 12:20-22. The core of his message was to remind listeners of the imperative of the need to overcome prejudices and passions that might hinder others as they journey to Christ. (Rhode Island Convention Center; Providence, RI; August 3, 2009)

AU Education Leaders - Astrid Thomassian, AU Education Director, and her associate Dr. Jerrel Gilkeson stood before a convention participants and encourage all pastors and teachers to take full advantage of the wonderful plenary and breakout sessions offered at the three day convention. My attendance was a result of personal invitations from Dr. Don King, Union President, and Mrs. Thomassian. The experience was an enriching one. (Rhode Island Convention Center; Providence, RI; August 3, 2009)

Dr. Samuel Betances - One of the highlight experiences during my stay was to listen to Dr. Betances, a well-known and highly respected authority on cultural diversity. He encouraged all present to hone cultural competencies in order to strengthen the impact of their respective ministries and more effectively assist others who are in search of their own futures. (Rhode Island Convention Center; Providence, RI; August 3, 2009)

Tony Romeo Breakout Session - I was surprised to find a childhood friend as a breakout presenter at the convention. Tony and I were childhood members of the Bronx Italian Church in NYC and were good friends. Tony’s focus was on marketing and advertising, where his expertise is known in the business world both nationally and internationally. (Rhode Island Convention Center; Providence, RI; August 3, 2009)

MVC Teachers Together in Song - I had the privilege of attending and participating in the afternoon “Education Hour” at the Mountain View Conference campmeeting. Visiting with many of their teachers and some school volunteers before the start of the meeting was a real treat. Pictured here are MVC teachers providing special music for the Education Hour. Accompanying the teachers at the piano was Jeremy Jacko, who teaches at Highland Adventist School. The MVC teachers are an incredibly dedicated group of servants in education ministry and are much appreciated not only in their respective districts but throughout the conference. (Valley Vista Camp; Huttonsville, WV; June 27, 2009) 

Elder Larry Boggess Shares - Elder Larry Boggess, both president of Mountain View Conference and Superintendent, shared with those in attendance of the vital importance of Christian education for MVC youth. He also spoke of education in the context of evangelism - much appreciated by educators present. Elder Boggess also welcomed and commended public school teachers that were in attendance, sharing with those in the congregation the importance of the work done by our public school counterparts. Wrapping up his presentation, Elder Boggess also expressed his appreciation for the work of pastors and volunteers in promoting and supporting Christian education throughout the conference. (Valley Vista Camp; Huttonsville, WV; June 27, 2009)

Suzan Wilson Recognizes Volunteers - The success of Adventist schools is realized, in part, through the countless hours volunteers provide from year-to-year. Suzan Wilson, who teaches at the Lewisburg SDA School (Lewisburg, WV) is pictured here presenting a certificate of appreciation to one of four “Volunteers of the Year” for MVC 2008-2009 education. Volunteers assist in a variety of capacities and provide flexibility to programming and planning throughout a school year. (Valley Vista Camp; Huttonsville, WV; June 27, 2009) 

Speaking of Adventist Education - When given the opportunity to speak to those present for Education Hour, I took the opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the tireless efforts of MVC educators in strengthening Adventist education across the conference. Elders Boggess and Whitsett, in particular, have done much over the past decade to advance Adventist education not only among Adventists but to extend its reach to non-Adventists as well. I also took the time to thank MVC educators for their important ministry and the difference they make in the lives of their students (Valley Vista Camp; Huttonsville, WV; June 27, 2009) 

Pastoral Support of Adventist Education - Pastor Geoff Starr (Oakland, MD) of the Mountaintop Seventh-day Adventist School was beckoned by Elder Boggess to share with those in attendance the impact of education ministry at the Mountaintop SDA School. Not only did he share of the growth in enrollment (impressive for so small a school) but also how the school and its impact led to the decision of a husband and wife to give their lives to Christ in baptism. Pastor Starr’s support for Adventist education is echoed from pulpits by his pastoral colleagues across the MVC field. Working with the youth at this campmeeting, Starr’s enthusiasm for young people and Adventist education warms the heart. (Valley Vista Camp; Huttonsville, WV; June 27, 2009)

Donna Nicholas Recognized - I was very pleased to have the honor to recognize Donna Nicholas, principal and teacher at the Summersville SDA School, as a nominee for the 2009 Columbia Union Elementary Teacher of the Year Award. Mrs. Nicholas has served at the Summersville school for the better part of her professional career and has brought much happiness to students and parents over the years. She is a gifted, dedicated education professional whose heart is fully committed to Jesus and who enjoys ministering to the academic and spiritual needs of her students. (Valley Vista Camp; Huttonsville, WV; June 27, 2009) 

Cheryl Jacko - Outstanding Educator - The formal presentation of the 2009 Outstanding Educator Award to Cheryl Jacko, principal and teacher at the Highland Adventist School (Elkins, WV) took place during the Education Hour. She received a standing ovation for the entire congregation. Mrs. Jacko was instrumental in actually building the new school in Elkins “from the ground up” and has grown the enrollment at the school many times over from its first year in existence. Her family also supports the school in many ways including as classroom teachers. The impact of the school in the community is telling, with a number of baptisms resulting from the powerful education ministry at Cheryl’s school. (Valley Vista Camp; Huttonsville, WV; June 27, 2009)

Washington Adventist University - Emile John, Associate Dean of Admissions and Records at Columbia Union College shared with MVC members the most recent developments at CUC, including the renaming of the institution, effective July 1. Moreover, Mr. John also shared with the congregation recent public recognitions received by the college and its president. (Valley Vista Camp; Huttonsville, WV; June 27, 2009) 

Meeting with NJ Personnel Committee - Determining who would be the next superintendent of education for the New Jersey Conference was the primary task for the Conference Personnel Committee at its last meeting. I was asked by Elder Cortes, Conference President, to meet with the NJCPC specifically to assist in the process of reviewing candidates and vetting. Elder Cortes and committee members were diligent and very thorough in their review of vitae and interview of the leading candidate. Objectivity was the driving force in approaching the task of filling the position. (NJC President’s Office; Trenton, NJ; June 10, 2009)

Jennifer Bianco Formally Accepts Award - This year’s elementary grades level “Outstanding Educator” is Jennifer Bianco (Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy). Pictured here is Jennifer Bianco with Dave Morgan, PA Superintendent on the Schools (her right) joining me for the formal presentation on the first Sabbath of PA Campmeeting. Jennifer’s colleagues and family were on the front row offering the verbal support and, like so many others, offered their applause for this notable recognition. (BMA Schultz Gymnasium; Hamburg, PA; June 13, 2009)

Spring Valley Academy Progress - I attended the most recent meeting of the governing board of Spring Valley Academy. Chairman Frank Perez arranged for a presentation by a representative of the insurer to share with board members the progress and plans for replacing, remodeling, and taking all other necessary steps to assist the academy for reopening on August 15th. In addition to the update, other items addressed by the SVABOT included hiring of new personnel; a proposal for opening an ECEC center; adopting a new student code of conduct; and strategic planning items. I choose to take a current picture of the academy building where notable progress is being made in preparation for the start of 2009-2010. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville. OH; June 14, 2009)

Adjusting to Married Life - Pictured are my daughter Bethany and her husband, Justin. Both are six weeks into their first summer session experience at Kettering College of Medical Arts as physician assistant program students. Married in February 2009, both are extremely busy with their studies. Occasionally, I have the opportunity to treat them to a special time away from their work. Together, we enjoyed a delicious meal at the local Mongolian Grille. My wife and I are hoping to make our way to Kettering later this summer to spend some additional time with our loved ones. (Mongolian Grille Restaurant; Centerville, OH; June 14, 2009)

A New Administrative Team Member - Pictured are Elder Cortes (right), president of the New Jersey Conference, welcoming Elder Sadrail Saint-Ulysse to his new post as Superintendent of Education for the conference. Elder Saint-Ulysse is not only a talented educator but also a pastor and, given his experience, has also been assigned a church. Elder Saint-Ulysse has a graduate degree from Andrews University and is currently a doctoral student at the same institution. Most recently, he served as principal of Meadow View Junior Academy. (Tranquil Valley Convention Center; Andover, NJ; June 21, 2009)

NJ Conference Committee Extends Congratulations - While I do not customarily reveal vote tallies, I am pleased to share with you that Elder Saint-Ulysse’s call was issued after a unanimous vote of the Conference Executive Committee. Pictured from left-to-right beside me is Elder Jim Greene, VP for Administration and Interim Superintendent; Malou Saint-Ulysse, wife of Sadrail and also an educator in her own right; Elder Cortes, Conference President; and Modesto Vazquez, Conference Treasurer. All of the conference officers were present to extend a hand of welcome to the new superintendent. (Tranquil Valley Convention Center; Andover, NJ; June 21, 2009)

Expression of Appreciation - Pictured are Rob Smith, his wife Tiffany, and their daughter, Maddie. They were the guests of the Columbia Union Office of Education team at Cheesecake Factory for a farewell lunch to the Smiths who will be heading to Barre, Vermont where Rob will be assuming new responsibilities as principal of Central Vermont Adventist Academy. Rob is completing his eighth and final year as Associate Superintendent for the Northern District of the Potomac Conference. Ths past year, Rob has provided double duty, serving in his official capacity as well as assuming some of the Vice President for Education responsibilities while Potomac administration searched for a VP. (Cheesecake Factory; Columbia, MD; June 3, 2009)

Recognizing CUSAC Service - Rob has served as a valued member of the Columbia Union School Administrators Council for seven of the his eight years of service. Rob’s keen insights, engaging personality, professional manner, and substantive contributions to policy proposals were always appreciated by his CUSAC colleagues. Pictured here is Maddie providing her Dad a service recognition plaque from the CUOE to Rob for his exemplary service to CUSAC. Rob will be Maddie’s principal very soon and both are looking forward to the experience. (Cheesecake Factory; Columbia, MD; June 3, 2009)

Celebrating a Birthday - Jennifer Wakefield (left), who serves as Administrative Assistant for the Office of Education, was treated by the CUOE team to a birthday treat at Cheesecake Factory. Jennifer has worked for the CUOE for nearly eight years and has become an invaluable member of the team. Her day-to-day service; CUSAC and CUCC preparation efforts for spring and fall education council meetings; and, her work for LaVona Gillham, Evelyn Sullivan, and me is always appreciated. Pictured to Jennifer’s left is Christine Greene, CU registrar. (Cheesecake Factory; Columbia, MD; June 3, 2009)

Takoma Academy Baccalaureate - Pictured with microphones are DeWayne Boyer (left front) and Dunbar Henri (right) who presented the SS lesson study focused on discipleship. Using a lesson format that involved audience participation in an extended Q&A session, both of these dedicated educator servants challenged those in the congregation to consider the different and, at times, challenging dimensions and implications of true discipleship. (Sligo Church; Takoma Park, MD; June 6, 2009)

A Friend Stands In - This year’s winner of the Takoma Academy Caring Heart Award, junior Pausy Isamar Argueta was unable to attend the award presentation. Pictured here is a dear family friend, senior Luis Caro, who stepped in to accept the award on her behalf. Pausy is loved by her fellow T.A. students and is known for her caring for, and hardworking efforts on behalf of, others. (Sligo Church; Takoma Park, MD; June 6, 2009)

Outstanding Educator Recognized - I was also privileged to present a recognition award to Laura Benn, a gifted, dedicated, and deeply appreciated faculty member of Takoma Academy. Laura teaches physical education and health. Upon receiving the recognition during the baccalaureate service, Miss Benn received a standing ovation from the graduating seniors in attendance and a warm round of applause from all in the church. (Sligo Church; Takoma Park, MD; June 6, 2009)

Giving Their Lives to Christ - The baccalaureate service was memorable for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the baptism of four students. Praise the Lord! Nothing fills my heart with more joy than when young people publicly declare their love for Christ and the giving of their lives to Him. Pictured here is Ben Thomas as he prepares for immersion. Pastors Debbie Eisele and Pete Garza officiated for the four baptisms. (Sligo Church; Takoma Park, MD; June 6, 2009)

Boyer Delivers Baccalaureate Address - DeWayne Boyer, former Bible teacher for many years at Takoma Academy, was invited to provide the challenge and blessing to the Class of 2009 and, by all accounts, gave a moving, meaningful sermon. DeWayne is currently Bible teacher at Spencerville Academy but served for many years in both administrative and instructional capacities at Takoma Academy. Boyer knew the graduates well as most were in his classes over the for several years.  (Sligo Church; Takoma Park, MD; June 6, 2009)

Vandeman Directs - Tim Vandeman (center), choral and band director of Takoma Academy, directed a talent group of young people in providing instrumental music (Sinfonia from Cantata 19, J. S. Bach) as one of several enjoyable special music presentations at the baccalaureate service. Tim is close to completing his graduate degree and in addition to his instructional talents, has represented his fellow faculty as their representative on the academy governing board. (Sligo Church; Takoma Park, MD; June 6, 2009)

CU Staff Appreciation Luncheon - Every year, the union administration acknowledges the work of, and appreciation for, its workers by hosting a luncheon in the spring. This year, added to the delicious food enjoyed by all present, was some fun time including a question/answer team v. team game formatted similar to the “Jeopardy” television game show. Many expressed their appreciation for the kindness as each present was acknowledged for years of service to the Columbia Union Conference. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; May 27, 2009)

CUOE Strategic Planning - For three full days, the Office of Education team worked diligently to lay out plans on matters of administration, curricula, service to the field, policy/guidelines, professional growth, assessment strategies, etc. This year’s effort included Evelyn Sullivan, ECEC Coordinator, who joined the CUOE team in a part-time capacity eight months ago. “Going green” carried the CUOE team through this round of annual strategic planning in that the agenda and all supportive exhibits/documents studied and used through the effort were paperless. (CUOE Conference Room; Columbia, MD; May 28, 2009)

Harrisburg Adventist School: Eighth Grade Graduation - I had the pleasure to attend the graduation of four eighth graders, and to congratulate the members of the Class of 2009 at H.A.S. Lower grade students provided special music for the commencement and parents, relatives, friends, and church members were present in large numbers to support and provide well wishes for the graduates. Particularly moving were the tributes to parents. Kris Eckenroth, PA Youth Director, gave the commencement address. (Harrisburg Seventh-day Adventist Church; Harrisburg, PA; May 26, 2009)

Tim Brown: Outstanding Educator - My visit to Harrisburg was primarily for the purpose of recognizing Tim Brown, H.A.S. upper grades teacher and principal, who was nominated for the 2009 CU Outstanding Educator Award. Skilled in teaching methodologies and a strong spiritual model, Tim also promotes community service by involving H.A.S. students in community projects. He also opens his home to students, seeking to lead them to Christ not only as a teacher but also as a friend. Mr. Brown received an enthusiastic ovation when presented with the certificate for outstanding service. (Harrisburg Seventh-day Adventist Church; Harrisburg, PA; May 26, 2009)

SAA Graduation - Held in the Spencerville Adventist Church, the 2009 commencement for seniors of Spencerville Adventist Academy included 46 seniors, accompanied in the processional by the Class of 2010. The Class of 2009 is composed of a host of very talented students, including a National Merit finalist, with nearly all graduates receiving scholarships to multiple colleges and universities. The Class of 2009 was addressed by two of their favorite teachers, Mr. Nathan Hess and Mrs. Carrie Hess. Their joint commencement address drew rave reviews from the graduating seniors. (Spencerville Adventist Church; Spencerville, MD; May 31, 2009)

SAA Commencement: Special Music - Senior Steven Blondo (left), provided a vocal solo (Hold Your Hand), accompanied by Benjamin Herzel (front right). The words of the song caught the imagination of graduating seniors and seemed moving to them all. These two young men provide one of three special music presentations; all three of which added to the joy of seniors and the specialness of the SAA commencement. Both young men are accomplished, academically-gifted graduates heading to higher education institutions with multiple scholarship offers. (Spencerville Adventist Church; Spencerville, MD; May 31, 2009)

2009 AAF Award Winner - I had the privilege of representing the Alumni Awards Foundation in presenting to Carrie Hess, English teacher at Spencerville Adventist Academy, the 2009 Excellence in Teaching medallion. Beloved by students and appreciated for her extraordinary dedication to her profession, Carrie is appreciated for her unswerving commitment to the success of each of her students. More importantly, Carrie seeks to lead each of her students to better know their Master. She is, by all accounts, a truly gifted Adventist educator. (Spencerville Adventist Church; Spencerville, MD; May 31, 2009)

Bethany Canosa Hill Graduates - My youngest daughter graduated from SAU, with a degree in health sciences, minoring in chemistry. Bethany and her husband, Justin, are now enrolled at Kettering College of Medical Arts, pursuing physician assistant degrees. The medical arts programs at KCMA are highly regarded not just in OH but across the nation. (Chattanooga Convention Center; Chattanooga, TN; May 3, 2009)

NADEA Visits Mt. Rushmore - After two full days of work, members of the North American Division Education Advisory were taken to Mt. Rushmore, allowing for valuable bonding and the opportunity to visit an historic national site. Some of the group had never visited Mt. Rushmore, and almost all NADEA members enjoyed visiting the small on-site museum, viewing the short film, and appreciating the natural landscape near the site. (Mt. Rushmore, SD; May 19, 2009)

Crazy Horse Monument - From Mt. Rushmore, NADEA members were driven to the Crazy Horse monument, the world’s largest mountain carving, in the Black Hills.  The monument is still a work in progress but is most impressive.  Commissioned by Chief Henry Standing Bear, Korczak Ziolkowski, a famous sculptor from Boston, began work on the project in 1947.  Chief Crazy Horse was positioned in the monument to acknowledge the sacred burial grounds of the native Lakota.  (Black Hills, SD; May 19, 2009)

Back at Work - Members of the UDOEC, the Union Directors of Education Council, are seen here working diligently on a host of important agenda items. At the time of this photo, our agenda was specifically focused on early childhood and care programs, and how the oversight responsibility, now given to education, will shape strategies for both school-based and church-based ECEC programs. UDOEC seeks to established standardized approaches to structure, policies, management, etc. in order to effectively oversee this new arena of assigned responsibility. Evelyn Sullivan is the Columbia Union ECEC Coordinator. (Romkota Best Western; Rapid City, SD; May 20, 2009)

BMA Junior Processional: Music in Brass - Commencement is always an exciting time for seniors AND juniors. Pictured here is the brass quartet that accompanied the junior class march into the M. W. Shultz Gymnasium, as they entered before graduating seniors for the commencement service. (Blue Mountain Academy; Hamburg, PA; May 24, 2009)

BMA: Caring Heart Award Winner - Justin McLaughlin, graduating senior, was awarded the 2009 Caring Heart Award winner for Blue Mountain Academy. Justin is highly respected by faculty and students alike and has those noteworthy characteristics that demonstrate strong character and a real desire to serve the Lord and others. Caring Heart Award winners are provided a $500 scholarship, recognition plaque, and most importantly, a Bible to remind them of their lifelong commitment to service. Justin is a National Merit Finalist and was recognized for multiple distinctions upon receiving his diploma. Principal Rob Gettys is pictured to Justin’s left. (Blue Mountain Academy; Hamburg, PA; May 24, 2009)

Commencement: Special Music - Graduating senior Jeremiah Pastor provided a memorable violin solo, playing “Zigeunerweisen” by Saraste. Jeremiah was accompanied by fellow senior Justin McAuliffe at the piano. Graduating as a four-year senior, Jeremiah graduated with an impressive array of academic distinctions. (Blue Mountain Academy; Hamburg, PA; May 24, 2009)

President Weigley Addresses Union Committee - Elder Dave Weigley shares with the members of the CU ExecComm regarding assessment results in each of the key result areas driving the mission of the CU.  Evidence suggests that all areas were deemed to be performing well. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; May 14, 2009)

Dr. Pollard Challenges Leaders - Dr. Leslie Pollard, Vice President, LLUAHSC, and Vice Chancellor for Community Partnership and Diversity at Loma Linda University, provided several plenary session presentations focused on how 21st century leaders must not only understand leadership theories but also employ effective leadership strategies to affect positive change in programs and people. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; May 14, 2009)

Dr. Bietz Speaks of Diversity and Servanthood - Dr. Gordon Bietz, president of Southern Adventist University gave two presentations to attendees of the Spiritual Leadership Symposium (May 14-16) focused on enhancing our appreciation for diversity in our church and lives. He used the example of Nehemiah to broaden perspectives on the essential elements of Christian servanthood. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; May 14, 2009)

Elder Weigley's Leadership Perspectives - Elders Weigley spoke early Friday morning on the topic "Leading from Within."  Using examples of biblical characters and leaders, he noted that leadership is as much a matter of the heart as the mind and that courage, conviction, integrity, principle, and most importantly, a close walk with the Lord makes leadership more effective. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; May 14, 2009)

Dr. Beardsley and Adventist Education - A most interesting view of Adventist education and its global reach was presented by Dr. Lisa Beardsley, Associate Director of Education for the General Conference. In addition to providing a wealth of statistical data for session attendees to consider, she led the group through an analysis of “value” in Adventist education and the role of accreditation in facilitating same. Her presentation included many photos of various universities and colleges across the globe; institutions where the process of accreditation is used to add value. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; May 15, 2009)

Dr. Barry Black: Sabbath Blessing - Chaplain to the U.S. Senate, Dr. Barry Black gave the Sabbath sermon to attendees of the symposium. What a stirring, challenging, and masterful presentation! Quoting scripture and reference literature, Dr. Black reminded leaders of the expansive view of Christ in seeking to bring His people to truth, regardless of what their respective walks in life. Listen to remarks by Dr. Black on the video blog. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; May 16, 2009)

CUC President Reports - Dr. Weymouth Spence, shown here reporting to the delegates attending the Columbia Union College constituency session, gave a meaningful and extensive report on the institution’s progress in key result areas identified in the college’s strategic plan. Significant for readers to know is that the college has been renamed Washington Adventist University, subject to final approval by all accrediting agencies to which the college is responsible. (Sligo Church; Takoma Park, MD; May 17, 2009)

Chesapeake Conference REACH Session - Educators from across the Chesapeake Conference, seeking R.E.A.C.H. training for meeting the needs of behaviorally and academically challenged students, are learning from Karohn Young, presenter. Several Potomac Conference teachers were also present. Karohn was trained at the CU-sponsored REACH training a little over a month ago. (Chesapeake Conference Office; Columbia, MD; April 23, 2009)

BMA Alumni Weekend: Sabbath School - Hundreds of alumni were present for the 2009 Alumni Weekend. While many were in the Schultz Gymnasium for Sabbath School. alumni-related activity, many returning alumni were also in the sanctuary for Sabbath study. (BMA Gymnasium; Hamburg, PA; April 25, 2009)

BMA Bel Canto - Pictured is the Bel Canto chorus, joined by many alumni who in their respective years as BMA students were members of Bel Canto. With a gymnasium filled with alumni and current students, Bel Canto’s presentation, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” was uplifting to all. Listen to part of the presentation in the video section of the Education page. (BMA Gymnasium; Hamburg, PA; April 25, 2009)

Dr. Karl Haffner Speaks - The hour of worship, with Dr. Haffner’s sermon focused on Ecclesiastes, the seasons of life, and relationships in community; riveted the attention of alumni, staff and students on how blessed we really are with every day of life God allows us to live. Elder Haffner, always an effective speaker, blended substance with touches of humor to drive home his main points. (BMA Gymnasium; Hamburg, PA; April 25, 2009)

Special Music - An instrumental rendition (by BMA Band and alumni) of the Battle Hymn of the Republic brought to the worship hour yet another highlight of the Sabbath experience. This year’s experience seemed to bring back one of the larger alumni crowds in recent years. No doubt, everyone who listened to this musical rendition was pleased to receive the blessing the music provided. (BMA Gymnasium; Hamburg, PA; April 25, 2009)

Elementary Instructor - Award Winner - Jennifer Bianco, on the elementary staff of Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy, was noted for her innovative teaching methods and skills in attending to the academic needs of students challenged in a learning environment. She is flanked by Gary Davis, HVCA principal (to her right) and her husband, Rick, who is also a member of the HVCA faculty. (Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy; Huntingdon Valley, PA; April 14, 2009)

Junior Academy Award Winner - Cheryl Jacko, principal of Highland Adventist Academy, has not only been an effective teacher at a variety of grade levels but also played a primary role in founding the school and growing its enrollment. Like all Outstanding Educator Award winners, Cheryl is very active in her church. (Elkins SDA Church; Elkins, WV; April 14, 2009)

Senior Academy Award Winner - Ophelia Barizo, (center) science instructor at Highland View Academy, is one of three winners of the 2009 Columbia Union Outstanding Educator Awards. Pictured to Ophelia’s left is Sheri Tydings, HVA principal. Ophelia’s innovative teaching methods and effective nurture of students’ spiritual journeys, makes her truly qualified for the distinction. (HVA Administration Building; Hagerstown, MD; April 13, 2009)

York Students Work on Projects - The CUOE team was on campus at the York SDA School to evaluate its program. Pictured are students of the upper grades who were busily involved in social studies projects at the time Dr. Kelly, LaVona Gillham, and I joined David Morgan, PA Superintendent to review the school program and approve its application for junior academy status. Principal Mina Gravatt stands behind the student working on his computer (left). The York program is one that, in recent years, has shown steady growth. (York SDA School; York, PA; April 16, 2009)

CUC Education Majors Present Thematic Units - Parents, fellow students, and friends joined faculty and guests to witness five presentations of integrated, interdisciplinary thematic units by Junior education majors. Officials from the Potomac Conference and Columbia Union Office of Education were in attendance to listen to each student make a 15 minute presentation, each of which was excellent. The Education Department also hosted a meal for students and guests. These education majors aspire to teach in Adventist schools sometime in the near future. (Morrison Hall Chapel; Takoma Park, MD; April 16, 2009)

NJ Workers Meetings - Pastor and teachers came together to, among other things, welcome Elder Jim Greene to the education field, serving as interim superintendent. In this photo, Lincoln Steed (Liberty) is making a presentation to the group. Evangelism was a major theme. (NJ Conference Retreat Center; Andover, NJ; March 31, 2009)

SVA: Hannah & Dodge - Spencer Hannah, Shenandoah Valley Academy Principal and Dorenda Dodge, Vice Principal, are a very effective team. Hannah took me to see program and building improvements during my visit. Major improvements to the ball fields, tennis court, and outdoor areas are underway. (SVA Administration Building; New Market, VA; April 3, 2009)

SVA: Robotics Competitor - Michael Nagy (Fr) is one of five members of SVA’s Robotics Team. Nagy and his teammates will be traveling to Andrews University to compete against students from other academies in the annual NAD Adventist Robotics League competition. (SVA Administration Building; New Market, VA; April 3, 2009)

SVA: Enjoying Lunch - SVA’s enrollment has grown steadily over the past several years and the board recently approved the 2009-2010 budget, projecting yet another year of enrollment gain. In this photo, students are enjoying haystacks and other goodies. Later in the day, 0ver 20 students were headed to Takoma Academy to participate in the Potomac Music Festival. (SVA Cafeteria; New Market, VA; April 3, 2009)

Grandsons Dedication - I had the privilege to attend the Madison Campus SDA Nashville Church and be given the opportunity to dedicate two of my three grandsons, Kooper Blaine Larson (1 yr. old) and Ethan Hunt Waugh (4 mos.). In support of the two precious lambs were grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a little brother. In addition to the child dedication, the occasion afforded opportunities to reacquaint with friends from the past. (Madison Campus Church; Nashville, TN; March 21, 2009)

Kooper Looks to the Congregation - With members of his home church before him, Kooper (held in my arms) is intrigued with seeing so many people and hearing so many “amens.” In addition to receiving his dedication certificate, the congregation provided Kooper with his first educational scholarship - free tuition for his first month in school, at time of enrollment. (Madison Campus Church; Nashville, TN; March 21, 2009)

Little Ethan’s Happiness - Though a bit taken by all the activity, Baby Ethan was as cooperative as can be as I was speaking and holding him in preparation for the dedicatory prayer. (Madison Campus Church; Nashville, TN; March 21, 2009)

A Sabbath School Happy Birthday - With his mother Rebecca (left) by his side, my grandson Kooper was brought to the front of his Cradle Roll class to celebrate his first birthday and to receive a Bible as a gift. (Madison Campus Church; Nashville, TN; March 21, 2009)

Birthday Cake Delight - On Sunday, our families and friends gathered to celebrate Little Koop’s birthday. Given a chance to try his birthday cake, Kooper wasted no time trying and enjoying it. (Kooper’s home; Mt. Juliet, TN; March 22, 2009)

Tim Brown - Harrisburg Teacher/Award Nominee - Tim Brown, principal and upper grades teacher of Harrisburg SDA School, was nominated for the Columbia Union Outstanding Educator Award in Fall 2008. Enjoying time spent with this quality educator, I visited Harrisburg as part of the final phase of vetting nominees for the award, with winners to be chosen on April 1, 2009. (Harrisburg SDA School; Harrisburg, PA; March 27, 2009)

Education Sabbath at the Elkins SDA Church - What a joy to share the Word and fellowship with members of the Elkins congregation and family, students, and friends of the Highland Adventist School. “Education Sabbath” was truly a highlight experience for all. A strings ensemble, conducted by Becca Jacko, provided three musical selections enjoyed by church members and guests that filled the church. (Elkins SDA Church; Elkins, WV; March 28, 2009)

HAS School Choir - The school choir, led by Mrs. Blanzy, also favored the congregation with several special music pieces just before I rose to speak for the Sabbath service. What a treat! (Elkins SDA Church; Elkins, WV; March 28, 2009)

Union Executive Committee: President’s Report - Elder Dave Weigley, CU President, gave an upbeat report to ExecComm members of significant happenings throughout the Columbia Union and CU sponsorships of projects in Zambia and South Africa. Among the items on the agenda at this meeting was a vote for further research by the CUOE, re: church-based ECEC programs. Findings are to be presented at the May CU ExecComm meeting. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 12, 2009)

Cheryl Jacko - Outstanding Educator Nominee - Principal of Highland Academy in Elkins, WV, Cheryl has been a faithful, effective, and tireless advocate for Adventist education in her local community and has, over the years, has significantly grown the enrollment of HA. A number of HA students are from the local community and are learning about SDA beliefs through the education ministry of Cheryl and her fellow faculty members. (Highland Academy; Elkins, WV, March 13, 2009)

Visiting the Library - Lower grade students almost always love library time and these youngsters are no different. I enjoyed their kind greetings and winning smiles. Helping students to appreciate the wonderful potential a library’s holdings can offer is an important part of a teacher’s responsibilities. (Highland Academy; Elkins, WV, March 13, 2009)

Academy Students At Work - My visit to HA, the first since the new school building was opened early last school year, offered the opportunity to catch a glimpse of students in all the classrooms. These students are hard at work while their instructor, Jeremy Jacko (background) oversees their efforts. (Highland Academy; Elkins, WV, March 13, 2009)

Dr. Dunbebin Wins Prestigious Award - Dr. Clarence Dunbebin CUSAC emeritus member and gifted education who served the Potomac Conference and Columbia Union for decades was awarded the GC Award of Excellence by Larry Blackmer, NAD Vice President for Education at a recent Sligo Church service. His wonderful wife, Ruth, stood by his side as he received the richly-deserved award. Congratulations to Dr. Dunbebin. (Sligo Church; March 21, 2009; photo by G. Lunsford)

R.E.A.C.H. Seminar - Bobbie Fleck (Walla Walla) presented to guidance counselors and academic advisors various strategies, including instructional, to reach students who are challenged in learning. He acronym stands for “Reaching to Educate All Children for Heaven.” (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 18, 2009)

Vineland Students Provide NJBOE Worship - The New Jersey K-12 Board of Education was favored with a musical devotional provided by students of the Vineland SDA School, principal: Yolanda Acosta (right). (Chapel, NJ Conference Office; Trenton, NJ; March 20, 2009)

Even the Youngest - Of the 34 students attending the Vineland SDA school, 24 play instruments, many of those taking lessons for multiple instruments. (Chapel, NJ Conference Office; Trenton, NJ; March 20, 2009)

Student Speaks of Christian Education - Seventh-grader Romario Lettsome provided an inspiring student perspective on the importance and value of an Adventist education. (Chapel, NJ Conference Office; Trenton, NJ; March 20, 2009)

Outstanding Educator Nominee - Carol Oster, elementary teacher at Olney Adventist Prep is a nominee for the 2009 CU Outstanding Educator Award. I had the privilege of meeting with Carol for the final vetting phase of the nomination process. Carol is one of nine (9) nominees this year. Winners of the award will be chosen on April 1 after a detailed and lengthy process of selection is completed. (Olney SDA Prep; Olney, MD; March 6, 2009)

Pine Forge Academy Foundation’s New Executive Director - Keith E. Green, is pictured making his first presentation to the PFA governing board, sharing his vision and plans for expanding the reach and effectiveness of the PFA Foundation. Keith brings extensive executive management experience in profit and non-profit environments and is excited to contributed his talents to advance the mission of the academy. (Wagoner Hall Library; Pine Forge, PA; March 8, 2009)

Planning for Dormitory Renovations - Standing in the background is Don Kirkman (left) and Dr. Alan Sampson, both present at the PFABOT meeting to update the board on assessments of both academy dormitories and sharing possibilities of renovations and associated costs. (Wagoner Hall Library; Pine Forge, PA; March 8, 2009)

CUBOE Meets - The Columbia Union Conference K-16 Board of Education meets biannually, once in the spring and fall. This spring’s meeting focused its attention on Code policies, standardized templates for employment, several financial matters and the presentation of a special award. Our meeting was opened by a young Crossroads student who called members to order in preparation for the CUBOE devotional. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 10, 2009)

Musical Devotion for CUBOE - The lower-grade choir of Crossroads SDA School delighted members of the Columbia Union Board of Education with songs enthusiastically delivered. Not only members of the board were present but many of the CU office workers as well as parents of students. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 10, 2009)

Upper Grades Students Share the Word - Crossroads choir members of the upper grades not only shared their devotion to Christ in song but recited a number of Bible texts in unison for CUBOE members and guests. Led by Ms. Karohn Young, Principal, and accompanied by other Crossroads staff members, these students were an inspiration to us all. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 10, 2009)

Dr. Ian Kelly - Award Winner - Dr. Ian Kelly, Associate Director of Education, was awarded the General Conference Award of Excellence by Elder Larry Blackmer, Vice President for Education of the North American Division. Ian has served in his current role for over 12 years and is very much appreciated across the Columbia Union for his effective ministry in education. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 10, 2009)


Summersville SDA Church: CUOE Visit - LaVona Gillham, Ian Kelly, and I had the privilege of worshiping with the Summersville congregation. Our visit to Summersville was three days long and its highlight was to see young students of the Summersville SDA School participating in the worship service. In this picture, Donna Nicholas, SSDAS teacher, is shown with two of her students who read the children’s story. (Summersville SDA Church Sanctuary; Summersville, WV; February 28, 2009)

Special Music - Students from of Grades 1-4 sing, “Sometimes He Calms the Storm.” As you might imagine, these young people touched the hearts of all in the congregation. (Summersville SDA Church Sanctuary; Summersville, WV; February 28, 2009)

Dr. Kelly’s Birthday Celebration - Our CUOE team was invited to Donna Nicholas’ home for Sabbath lunch. Donna prepared a surprise for Ian - a birthday cake and gift. Perfect timing and kindness as Ian was away from home on his special day. (Summersville SDA Church Sanctuary; Summersville, WV; February 28, 2009)

Kindness Among Friends - Pictured are CUOE team members in the living room of Donna Nicholas, who graciously provided a scrumptious Sabbath meal and desserts for her guests. (Summersville, WV; February 28, 2009)

Joint Registrars Workshop - Registrars from the academies of both the Atlantic and Columbia unions met for two days at the CU office to discuss mutual challenges, strategies, goals, and plans for future collaborative efforts. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 3, 2009)

Dr. Gilkeson Leads AU Registrars - Jerrell Gilkeson, Atlantic Union Associate Director of Education, brought his registrars team to our field, and he ably represents the many considerable talents of the AUCOE team. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 3, 2009)

Atlantic Union Registrars - Pictured here are most of the AU academy registrars. They braved the snow that almost caused the meetings’ cancellation. The CUOE made every effort to make the experience for our AU colleagues both productive and enjoyable. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 3, 2009)

Columbia Union Registrars - Dr. Ian Kelly (far right) organized the meetings for the registrars. Pictured are the registrars and several additional administrators from the academies of the Columbia Union. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 3, 2009)

Bethany Canosa - Justin Hill Wedding - On February 22, 2009, I had the privilege of officiating at the wedding of my youngest daughter, Bethany and Justin Hill, my newest and wonderful son-in-law. Pictures provided below include those of my children, grandchildren (note the tuxedos), relatives of bride and groom, and special moments. The pictures were taken at the Chattanooga First SDA Church and the Sheraton Read House in Chattanooga by Christine Greene and me.


 Brad & Justin
 Justin & Ginger
 Bride & Mom
 The Mothers
 Bride & Sister Heidi
 Bride & Sister Rebecca
 Braden Bible Boy
 Kooper in Tux
 Ethan in Tux
 Kirk, Braden & Papa

 Giving Away Bride


 Unity Candle

 Joyful Moment

 Read House Intros

 Wedding Cake

Powell Equips Educators - Dr. Norman Powell, retired La Sierra University professor, was invited to spend two days with members of the Columbia Union Curriculum Committee, instructing them in areas of teacher supervision and evaluation, formative and summative. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 9, 2009)

Greene Acknowledged by Educators- Christine Greene (center) was given a gift basket as a token of appreciation by CUSAC members of her diligent work regarding teacher certification. Christine is viewed by many as among the best certification registrars across the NAD. Pictured to her right is Sheri Tydings, HVA Principal, and Jacqueline Messenger, Associate Superintendent of Chesapeake Conference. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 11, 2009)

Ross Shares Dissertation Findings - Dr. Donovan Ross, VP and math instructor of Spring Valley Academy, was invited to share conclusions and recommendations noted in his research of servant leadership in education. Dr. Ross is a member of the union curriculum committee and Best Practices Commission. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 11, 2009)

Planning for CUC Education Majors - LaVona Gillham, Associate Director of Education for the Columbia Union, has been working with Drs. Jeannette Dulan and Davenia Lea of Columbia Union College to establish a program that would effectively place CUC education majors needing teaching practicums in Adventist schools. This program allows for cooperative funding by the local school, conference, and CUOE, making it easier for the education majors to be placed across the union field. (CUOE Conference Room; Columbia, MD; February 11, 2009)

Carson Instructs, re: School Vouchers - Attorney Wally Carson, CU Office of General Counsel and CUSAC member, gave a “Legal Eagle” presentation regarding the implications of Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, Blaine amendments, re: states, and how CU educators should relate to school voucher initiatives across the field. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 12, 2009)

Kido Reports CognitiveGenesis Findings, Yr. 3 - Dr. Elissa Kido, Project Director for CognitiveGenesis, made a 90-minute presentation to CUSAC members, updating them on third-year results, re: CognitiveGenesis findings. Our educational leaders were very encouraged with what was shared. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 12, 2009)

Griggs/CUOE Agreement Signed - Pictured is Dr. Don Sahly and Dr. Alayne Thorpe of Griggs International Academy with Dr. Ian Kelly, Associate Director of Education for the Columbia Union, shown signing a contract which will allow distance education options up to 15o instructional units for teachers and students in CU junior academies who seek expanded academic programs. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 12, 2009)

Takoma Academy Board Addresses Key Items - Elder Bill Miller, who serves as chairman of the TA board, led out in the board’s processing of a number of key agenda items, including the role of the new assistant to the President, Dr. Dale Twomley. Board members addressed financial and personnel matters that had implications with both the short- and long-term implications for the institution . (TA Library; Takoma Park, MD; January 26, 2009)

Principal Henri Announces Future Plans - Pictured is Dunbar Henri, who has served TA in both administrative and teaching roles for twenty years. He currently is completing his fourth year as principal. He announced to the board his intention to return to the classroom for the 2009-2010 school year. The board accepted his announced resignation as principal, effective June 30, 2009 and expressed appreciation for his leadership service. (TA Library; Takoma Park, MD; January 26, 2009)

End Times Church Leadership Symposium - The Summersville SDA Church was filled to capacity with members and guests who came to hear Elder Jim Cress, featured speaker, discuss end-time events and how church members should relate to today’s realities. In addition, church officers from all over the conference came for breakout sessions for Adult SS, Children’s Ministry, Church Clerks, Communications, Deacons/Deaconesses, Health Ministries, Personal Ministries, Pathfinders, Board Governance, and Treasurers. (Summersville SDA Church; Summersville, WV; February 1, 2009)

Elder Boggess - Elder Larry Boggess (pictured), Mountain View Conference President and Educational Superintendent, coordinated activities for the symposium. I was in attendance to lead out in the board governance session, sharing governance principles applicable to both church and school boards, and to answer questions about committee/board functions. (Summersville SDA Church; Summersville, WV; February 1, 2009)

Elder Jim Cress - General Conference Ministerial Director, Elder Jim Cress provided a presentation to attendees entitled, “Believe It or Not: Adventists Love a Hoax.” The main thrust of the presentation was to make attendees aware of the reasons Adventists should be careful regarding choices relating to the work of some independent groups and to be aware of Spirit of Prophecy writings regarding the overall work of the Church. (Summersville SDA Church; Summersville, WV; February 1, 2009)


The Mountaintop Mandate - At the recently concluded NAD Ministerium, Dr. Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant, high profile media psychologist, columnist, and strong advocate for mental health gave a stirring talk, with self-described “mountaintop energy” of the historic nature of Martin Luther King Day and the inauguration of President Obama and how that history is linked to our nation and our work as Christians. (Hilton Convention Center; Myrtle Beach, SC; January 19, 2009)

Derek Morris and the Lord of the Harvest - Personal friend and presenter Derek Morris challenged attendees to the ministerium to allow God to “throw” each into the ministry of God’s choosing, and that God will equip us to face the radical challenges that come our way. We are to be like lambs among wolves, remembering that the protective hand of God is always present. (Hilton Convention Center; Myrtle Beach, SC; January 19, 2009)

Barna: Reaching the Unchurched - Certainly one of the highlight presenters of the entire ministerium, George Barna, researcher, author and highly respected advisor to church groups, outlined practical and much-needed strategies churches should employ to reach the unchurched in America. Consistently with his presentations, Barna provided statistical and substantive evidence as he focused on or need to understand (1) shifts in culture, (2) shifts in faith, (3) the nature of the unchurched, (4) connecting with the unchurched, and (5) the actions steps needed at the church level. To hear a short clip of Barna’s presentation SEE Video Clip of Barna (Hilton Convention Center; Myrtle Beach, SC; January 20, 2009)

The Unchurched - Barna’s research indicates that many who self-identify as unchurched were once part of church communities and, indeed, have a spiritual side. The slide provides interesting information with regard to that spiritual side of the unchurched. (Hilton Convention Center; Myrtle Beach, SC; January 20, 2009) 

Pastors & Teachers in Partnership - Shown in this photo is Garry Sudds, Director of Education for the Lake Union Conference. Garry’s breakout presentation was entitled, The Top 10 Things Pastors Can Do to Serve Their School. Garry challenged all present to forge vital partnerships through the leading of the Holy Spirit so that our schools will thrive and not just survive. The substance of the presentation came from Garry’s doctoral research. (Hilton Hotel; Myrtle Beach, SC; January 21, 2009)

Role of The Pastor - Among the many slides Garry presented were several the linked the role of the pastor to several biblical passages. This slide, and many others, prompted excellent questions and comments from a room that pastors, administrators, educators, and even some local Adventist school board members. (Hilton Hotel; Myrtle Beach, SC; January 21, 2009)

Dr. Brantley Leads Out in Strategic Planning - Dr. Paul Brantley, Associate Field Secretary of the General Conference, is shown facilitating a strategic planning session in Journey to Excellence assessment and enhancing Adventist education viability. Dr. Brantley worked for Florida Hospital in the area of strategic planning and has extensive educational experience at the higher education level. (Westin Hotel; San Francisco, CA; January 5, 2009)

UDOEC Hard at Work - The union directors and college personnel were participants in a variety of group tasks all focused on developing assessment strategies and key success indicators for the 10 basic goals of Journey to Excellence. (Westin Hotel; San Francisco, CA; January 5, 2009)

Dr. Kelly’s Tasks - Dr. Ian Kelly, CU Associate Director (bottom right), was a key small group participant in identifying proposed key indicators in the areas of leadership and J@E goals of commitment to the Church and intellectual development. (Westin Hotel; San Francisco, CA; January 6, 2009)

LaVona Gillham’s Contributions - LaVona Gillham, CU Associate Director (center), was a group facilitator, scribe and reporter for one of the major breakout session groups. LaVona’s specialty is small schools and a number of the items addressed in these strategic sessions had implications teachers and students in small schools across the North American Division. (Westin Hotel; San Francisco, CA; January 6, 2009)

CognitiveGenesis Report at Ketulo’s - Pictured at one of the tables in Ketulo’s Italian Restaurant are the three CU teammates, treated along with all other UDOEC and higher education participants to a special meal by Dr. Elissa Kido, CognitiveGenesis Project Director for the division-wide CG research. Dr. Kido provided a brief update of the more recent preliminary CG results and encouraged more extensive sharing of the good news research results indicate. The background for this photo provided UDOEC members with more than a few laughs and, of course, we assure our blog guests that our team’s delight was only with the cuisine. (Westin Hotel; San Francisco, CA; January 6, 2009)